STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Kurseong, 14 November
Close on the heels of six party activists being rounded up from Darjeeling yesterday, a prominent GNLF leader, Mr Maurish Kalikotey, the party&’s sub-divisional convener for Kalimpong, was arrested by police under various sections and charges today, triggering protest from the party that defined the arrest as police kowtowing to the GJMM&’s diktat. Six GNLF activists were arrested yesterday on several charges, including extortion.
It was earlier said the senior GNLF leader was detained. But later, senior police officials from Kalimpong confirmed he was arrested. As per police, he was arrested over suo motto cases filed by the Algarah police post regarding the party&’s activities on 11 November at Algarah. The names of 13 GNLF activists, including that of Mr Kalikotey figured in the FIR. It is learnt that on 11 November, a large number of GNLF activities were in Algarah to plant GNLF&’s party flags. They also staged a rally in the area without any permission from the police administration.
Notably, on 27 October, addressing a huge public meeting in Darjeeling, the GJMM chief, Mr Bimal Gurung had said that the GNLF activists were forcing traders to buy CDs that contain recorded speeches of its chief, Mr Subash Ghising. He termed this as extortion. He also warned of lawlessness if this continued unchecked. Even, in his Facebook account, he had condemned such extortions and requested police for appropriate action on the matter. Police sources said more arrests of the GNLF leaders and activists are on the cards.
On the other hand, the GNLF termed the arrests as pre-meditated and result of police acting the bidding of the GJMM.
The party spokesperson from Kurseong, Mr Daya Dewan, said his party has never forced anyone to shell out money. “The allegation is concocted,” he added.